Jeffrey Lucy, ASIC chief, has called on the financial services industry to develop “benchmark” commission rates.

Lucy told the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services ASIC Oversight Hearing on June 14 that while it is appropriate that the level of commission varies with different products, consumers should be made aware of how much a commission deviates from the norm. “I think that there is an argument to say to the industry that they should identify what they regard as a benchmark commission rather than us, a regulator, announce it,” Lucy said. “Then, in the disclosure statements, they should nominate to the extent that they move outside that band. For example, let us say the band is two per cent and your reference is 10 per cent, I would not say that is eight per cent [above]; I would say that is five times higher.” He also confirmed at the hearing that ASIC was matching lists of advisers who sold Westpoint products with those who were involved in selling mass-marketed tax effective schemes several years ago. The ATO holds the names of all the financial planners, accountants and other advisers who recommended the mass-marketed tax schemes which fell into disrepute earlier this century. Lucy said comparing names of those advisers implicated in the Westpoint debacle and those who sold the tax schemes was “a work in progress for us now”.

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